still water or current?
i have a 20 gal. high tank. do platys need a current breaking the surface from the filter or high water and little current?
I think all fish need enough surface agitation to oxygenate. It doesn't have to be a huge waterfall, I fill mine up to just below the lip of the filter and I can see the bubbles in the tank from it. You could also add a bubbler.
I leave about a quarter inch of space between the water line and filter lip. You need a decent (but not big) current from the filter to help better oxygenate your tank. My platy actually enjoy playing in the current from my filter on occasion. A good little bubbler/air stone would be a good idea as well (although mostly unnecessary).
Do you have plants? If so then you will mot need a lot. Plants provide enough oxygen.
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Well first, all tanks, planted or not need water circulation. Water circulation is very important to prevent thermal gradients in the water. Almost all of the biology in the tank needs water circulation to deliver nutrients...and yes, water turbulence on the surface aids in the gas exchange of co2 and oxygen and your water needs oxygen to support life. You do not need a water fall, so the water level can pretty much be within a half inch of the very top or at least level with the filter lip (assuming a HOB).
Otherwise, you always want just a bit of surface turbulence to oxygenate the water and general circulation for the reasons given.
If the turbulence from the filter is too great, you can fashion a simple baffle from a water bottle (instructions in DIY here).
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